Srinagar, Jun 23: With Kashmir and parts of Jammu region experiencing heavy rains in the last few days, the threat of respiratory tract infection and water-borne diseases outbreak looms large, officials said on Thursday.
They told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that whenever there are incessant rains or flood-like situations, the apprehension of outbreak of water borne diseases always remains there.
They said that people must take precautions while consuming water and should take water samples on a regular basis to test it so as to reduce the impact of rain on their health and prevent outbreak of diseases.
Meanwhile, Directorate of Health Services Kashmir has also issued an advisory urging the people to take precautions while consuming water.
“As there have been incessant rains in Kashmir, and there is a perception of Water borne diseases. Attached is the health advisory regarding prevention of waterborne diseases, to be circulated in your districts Activate your Rapid response teams (RRTS) under IDSP in your districts,” reads a letter by deputy director National Health Programme.
The Deputy Director has requested all Chief Medical Officers of Kashmir to gear up the CHOS, Health educators in the district to give awareness among the community for prevention of water borne diseases.
“It is requested to take the water samples (from water source and user points) for testing in Public Health Laboratory under IDSP in your districts on a regular basis in order to ensure minimal occurrence of water borne diseases and outbreaks,” it added.
The DHSK has also asked the people to drink water only after boiling it for 20 minutes, wash drinking water storage containers, wash hands with soap before eating food and after using the washroom and the contact period between soap and water should be between 15 to 20 seconds.
It also advised people to avoid open defecation and urination in order to prevent contamination of water sources, keep fingernails short and clean and wash raw food material such as fresh vegetables thoroughly before cooking.
“Chlorinate water, and if ORS isn’t available, prepare homemade ORS and avoid prolonged contact with flood and dirty water and in the event of contact, clean the parts of the body with soap and water. Water washed diseases are caused by poor hygiene (inadequate water supply). They are caused when freshwater is scarce and contaminated water comes into contact with the skin and eyes. These are scabies, Eczema, Trachoma, lice and tick borne diseases,” it reads.
Meanwhile authorities at district level have also issued advisories and advised people to remain vigilant besides using boiled water and keeping children warm.
“There is an increased risk of dermatitis, conjunctivitis infection, ear, and nose and throat infection through direct contact with polluted water. Therefore, avoid contact with polluted water and wear protective clothes and shoes while going out in water.” Advisories read—(KNO)